Health

Mitch McConnell Launches Ad Campaign To Encourage COVID-19 Vaccination

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Michael Ginsberg General Assignment Reporter
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Senate Minority Leader and Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell is launching a radio ad campaign in his home state to encourage constituents to receive COVID-19 vaccines.

“Not enough people are vaccinated,” McConnell told Reuters on Wednesday. “So we’re trying to get them to reconsider and get back on the path to get us to some level of herd immunity.” The ads will run for 60 seconds on more than 100 Kentucky radio stations.

51% of Kentucky residents have been vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, including 83% of residents over the age of 65. McConnell, who is 79, received his vaccination in December.

“There is bad advice out there, you know. Apparently you see that all over the place, people practicing medicine without a license, giving bad advice. And that bad advice should be ignored,” he added.

McConnell frequently touts the efficacy and safety of the COVID-19 vaccines. He described them as a “modern medical miracle” at a July 6 town hall, and told constituents that while they “may not guarantee you don’t get” COVID-19, they “almost guarantee you won’t die from it.”

McConnell appeared to warn Americans that lockdowns will return if they do not get vaccinated in a July 21 speech. “These shots need to get in everybody’s arms as rapidly as possible or we’re going to be back in a situation in the fall that we don’t yearn for — that we went through last year,” he said. (RELATED: CDC Now Recommends Vaccinated Americans Mask Up If Living In High Transmission Areas)

Other leading Republicans have promoted COVID-19 vaccinations in recent weeks. House Minority Whip and Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise received his first shot on July 20.

“With the delta variant becoming a lot more aggressive and seeing another spike, it was a good time to do it,” he told NoLa.com. “When you talk to people who run hospitals, in New Orleans or other states, 90% of people in hospital with delta variant have not been vaccinated. That’s another signal the vaccine works.”

Arkansas gubernatorial candidate and former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders wrote an op-ed in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette on July 25 explaining her decision to get vaccinated.

“As the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations once again rise exponentially in Arkansas, information is emerging that I hope people will consider. Recent data demonstrates that those Arkansans who are not vaccinated are at significantly greater risk for serious illness from covid. In fact, 98 percent of COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized in our state and 99 percent of recent COVID-19 deaths were people who were not vaccinated,” she wrote.